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Defence Mechanisms. What are defence mechanisms? –Unconscious mental processes used to protect the ego against anxiety, shame or other unacceptable feelings.

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Presentation on theme: "Defence Mechanisms. What are defence mechanisms? –Unconscious mental processes used to protect the ego against anxiety, shame or other unacceptable feelings."— Presentation transcript:

1 Defence Mechanisms

2 What are defence mechanisms? –Unconscious mental processes used to protect the ego against anxiety, shame or other unacceptable feelings or thoughts. –Are ways of dealing with stress!

3 Freud and Defence Mechanisms Freud states we tend to deal with problems in the unconscious mind by using defence mechanisms.

4 Some examples of Defence Mechanisms: Rationalization –An excuse we invent to explain a particular event/action (failure, loss, bad behaviour) –“He gets better marks than me because he kisses up to the teacher” –“She got the job because she is a girl”

5 Displacement Letting your anger out on someone later on who really had nothing to do with your frustration. This allows us to redirect the emotion or feelings not at the real target of our discomfort, for fear of their reaction, but towards another that we believe we can deal with, the cat, the car, the kids etc.

6 Repression We push unpleasant urges or thoughts out of our conscious minds and into the subconscious. –When we defend by repression we forbid a conflict, or one of its positions (aspects) to come to conscious awareness. –“I don’t know why but that guy bugs me.”

7 Projection When we see negative aspects in a person that we sense ourselves as having. You try to hide these traits and as a result point out others that have these traits.

8 Fantasy Everyone daydreams, or pretends to be someone, go some where, etc. Fantasies may help us plan for the future, but if used too often may not solve our problems nor achieve our goals. Example: Video games, movies, books

9 Regression When problems seem too difficult for us, we may go back to a behaviour pattern of an earlier period of our lives (child like). For example, throwing a tantrum when you don’t get what you want.

10 Denial: We completely reject the thought or feeling. While we might have physiological signs of anger, and people around might feel or sense the anger, we deny it. “I’m not angry with him!”

11 Withdrawal This is a common defence mechanism and is often an aspect of all our different defence mechanisms. We respond to situations around us by disconnecting to the effects of what is going on around us. “Problem, what problem?”

12 Sour Grapes This is a form of rationalisation. When we cannot reach a goal, we tell ourselves and others that it was not worthwhile goal anyways.


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